Courtesans were usually very attractive ladies who started there adult life working in a trade where she had contact with people and usually admired by gentlemen of means.
It was usually their intention to become a Courtesan a high class Prostitute or Mistress who was supported by wealthy men putting them above street walkers, Madams and Loretts
Women would become Courtesan's for many reasons, Marriage in the 1800's was usually a business arrangement more than a love story and wives did not necessarily inherit on the death of there husband whereas the Courtesan was showered with lavish gifts creating a very comfortable life style for her.
Many titled men including Royals and Kings kept Courtesan's.
A wife's roll was to carry on the family name and to be seen and not heard, many were pleased that there husbands entertained a Courtesan so they could be left to their own devices
Defining the courtesan basically comes down to this: "a prostitute with a courtly, wealthy, or upper-class clientele."
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